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Hiroshima Itinerary: How To See Hiroshima In One Day

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Hiroshima is a city that played a significant but extremely sad part in history. While Hiroshima won’t be the easiest place to visit, it’s crucial to learn about the history of a country and the impact of that history on its people.

In this Hiroshima itinerary you can find all the important sights in Hiroshima, most of them are related to the atomic bomb that was dropped onto the city during WWII. Read along to see how to spend one day in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima itinerary: what to do in Hiroshima city

Hiroshima peace park in Japan

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What it’s like to visit Hiroshima

Visiting Hiroshima was strange, it was bizarre to realize that in this very city an atomic bomb went off 70 years ago. And as always with heartbreaking places like this, I find it difficult to write about the experience. It’s challenging to put into words the strong emotions that well up when visiting places like Hiroshima.

One day Hiroshima itinerary

I felt similarly about visiting the Tuol Sleng Prison and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Cambodia. I didn’t write about visiting those places because I just couldn’t find the right words.

The same goes for the Cu Chi tunnels and the War Remnant Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museums in London. When I came out of that museum I sat on the grass and cried for an hour, still not nearly enough tears for all the terrible things that happened during WWII.

War is awful and in the end, nobody wins…

Nevertheless, I was impressed how in Hiroshima the focus was on promoting peace instead of putting the blame on someone. Still, walking around the Memorial Park was a moving experience…

Hiroshima in a day: places to visit

The Atomic Bomb Dome

The Atomic Bomb dome Hiroshima Japan

The Atomic Bomb Dome is an impressive sight. In the information sign you can see what the building looked like before the bombing. The atomic bomb exploded directly above the building, which is why it’s called the A-bomb dome. Before the bomb the building was named the Industrial Promotion Hall, it is one of the few buildings in Hiroshima that was left standing after the explosion.

The Children’s Peace Monument

Children's Peace Monument Hiroshima Japan

The Children’s Peace Monument is a monument to remember the children who died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

There is a heartbreaking story behind the design of the statue: a little girl named Sadako Sasaki developed leukemia after the bomb. She set to the task of folding a thousand paper cranes as in Japan the crane bird is the symbol of longevity. Tragically, she died before she could finish her goal…

Childrens Peace Monument Hiroshima Japan

However, her classmates finished the thousands cranes for her and up until this day children from all around the world fold paper cranes and send them to Hiroshima, to commemorate Sakado and all the other victims…

Peace Memorial Hall

Peace Memorial Hall Hiroshima - a day in Hiroshima

In the Peace Memorial Hall we listened to the haunting stories of people who survived the atomic bomb. It’s impossible to comprehend the amount of suffering and utter destruction caused by one single bomb.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum

Map of Hiroshima after the bomb

We also visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum and red more about the horrors of the bomb, the effect on the human body, the amount of destruction caused and the impossibly high temperatures incinerating everything, even melting glass and metal.

A depressing morning altogether but again, it’s important to visit places like this and remember the innocent victims of war.

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima itinerary - visit Hiroshima in a day

A happier place to visit is Hiroshima Castle, which has been completely reconstructed in 1958. The castle was also destroyed by the atomic bomb, but the reconstruction has been done perfectly (like you could expect anything less in Japan).

Hiroshima 1 Day Itinerary

Inside the castle there is a museum where you can learn about Japanese castles and the history of Japan. There is also a section about Hiroshima Castle itself and about the ancient history of Hiroshima (hundreds of years before the bombing) and the region around it.

The view from the top of the castle is nice as well and despite it’s depressing history, Hiroshima is a nice city to spend some time. It’s green, open and compact enough to explore on foot.

Hiroshima travel budget

Hiroshima is a city with a tragic history. Places you must visit are the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Children’s Peace Monument, the Peace Memorial Hall and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum. Don’t forget to visit Hiroshima Castle as well. Read this 1 day itinerary with budget info, map, accommodation & food advice.
  • I spent 1 day and 1 night in Hiroshima and traveled with my husband.
  • Our trip to Japan was in April/May 2016. The exchange rate around that time was approximately €1 = 125JPY (¥) and $1 = 110JPY (¥).

Our expenses in Hiroshima can be divided into 4 categories

  1. Accommodation: 33% of our costs.
  2. Transport: 29% of our costs (I allocated 1/5th of the costs of our railway pass, read more below).
  3. Food: 31% of our costs.
  4. Activities: 7% of our costs (the entrance fee for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum was ¥200 per person and ¥370 per person for Hiroshima Castle).

How to get to Hiroshima from Osaka

We bought a 5 day JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, costing ¥14,000 per person. You can read more about this pass on the Japan Guide website and the JR website.

Note: if you plan to do a lot of long-distance travel during your trip to Japan, it’s worth looking into purchasing the Japan Rail Pass, which covers all of Japan (instead of a local area pass like the one we purchased).

How to travel to Hiroshima from Osaka by Shinkansen - Japan

One of our Japan bucket list items was traveling on the famous bullet train, aka the Shinkansen. And so we traveled from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima station in this wicket looking train!

I can now say from personal experience: the bullet train is awesome! When it’s pulling up you wonder if, at some point, it will stop accelerating. It’s just going so fast (max 320 km/h)!

In Hiroshima itself we got around on foot, the places to visit are near to each other and our hotel was situated between these sites and Hiroshima station, pretty much perfect.

Where to stay in Hiroshima on a budget

We stayed at the Hiroshima Pacific Hotel. Funny thing, we booked this hotel at Hiroshima station while having dinner and arrived about 30 minutes after making our booking. Nevertheless, our printed reservation lay behind the hotel desk and our check-in couldn’t have been smoother. True Japanese efficiency!

What I liked

+ Great location (within walking distance or the JR station, the Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Castle).
+ Free tea and coffee available.
+ Free luggage storage after we checked out.

What I didn’t like

The room was quite small, which was okay for us. We had slept in our car for 4 nights on Hokkaido, to us any place where you could stand up straight seemed pretty spacious. But anyway, if you have lots of luggage this may not be the hotel for you.

Accommodation information

Agoda rating: 7,9 | Booking rating: 7,6
• Price paid for a night: ¥5000/€40/$45.

Where to eat in Hiroshima

Lunch

We read about a great Thai place in the Lonely Planet and after some searching we found the tiny restaurant in a little alley. The set lunch menu consisted of a spicy green curry, rice, a little salad and an omelet, it was absolutely delicious!

The Japanese lady running the place was very friendly and took a couple of pictures of us for the Facebook page. I still haven’t found that FB page, probably because he name is in Japanese. If you find it, let me know!

If you have time (which unfortunately we did not) you can do a Thai cooking class: it’s a 3 hour class where you learn to cook 3 menus in a group of max. 5 people. Costs are ¥5000/€40/$45 per person.

Where to eat this: Osanpo Masara, 9-28 Nakajimachō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0811, Japan, +81 90-9465-6352
Price: ¥1000

Dinner

At the station of Hiroshima we found a great little ramen place between 7-11 and a donut shop. Order your dish the Japanese way by throwing in some money and pressing the button of the dish you like.

Where to eat this: 驛麺家 Matsubaracho, 〒732-0822, 1-2 Matsubaracho, Minami Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 732-0822, +81 82-261-1678
Price: ¥400-¥800

Map of our Hiroshima itinerary

In the map below you can find all the places mentioned above (including the hotel and places to eat).

Hiroshima itinerary map

Click here for the interactive map.

One day in Hiroshima: in conclusion

You can download the map and the budget breakdown infographic below. Read my other posts about Japan for more Japan travel inspiration!

This post was updated in October 2019.

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Upasana Choudhury

Thursday 23rd of May 2019

Hi Lotte

Amazing post! thanks for including all the information. I am planning to visit Japan as my first international destination. And your post is a great help to me in planning the trip.

But I have a doubt and it's confusing me a lot. Can you please tell me after visiting Hokkaido, did you take flight to Osaka and then bullet train to Hiroshima? Or from Hokkaido you came to Tokyo, then to Osaka and then bullet train to Hiroshima?

Can you please clear my doubt on this? Thanks!

Lotte

Saturday 25th of May 2019

Dear Upasana,

Thank you very much for your kind comment, I'm happy to hear my Japan post is helpful for your trip! I hope you have a great time in Hiroshima. Regarding your question, yes we flew from Hokkaido to Osaka where we took a bullet train to Hiroshima. It was the easiest and fastest option for us. However, if you have the Japan Rail Pass you could also travel by train all the way from Hokkaido (Sapporo) to Hiroshima.

Enjoy your travels:-) Lotte